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Black Templars

Submitted By: Date: August 24, 2005, 01:07:20 PM Views: 5958

The bridge was unusually quiet. The bustling officers and messengers were gone, the constant comm-buzz absent. Only the clicking sounds of the logic engines and their servitor-operators broke the silence. The doors shut automatically behind the new Marshal, and so he found himself in a rare moment of peace. Standing before him was a robed man, whom he recognized as one of the tacticians of the crusade. His crusade, he mentally corrected himself. It was difficult getting used to that.

"Welcome, Marshal," spoke the robed man, bowing politely. "It is required by Codex procedures that each officer go through a number of tactical seminars before he takes full command of his post. You, being the new Marshal of this glorious Crusade, are now the learner, and I the teacher. Listen well."


The Marshal:

is the simplest, most economical leader available to a Black Templars force. However, economy is not to be confused with weakness - he still has a basic stat line of three WS 5 attacks, after all! And in addition, you can arm him with all the most fearsome weaponry in the Space Marine arsenal, whatever your heart's desire - be it a pair of master-crafted lightning claws for a terrifying close combat master, a thunder hammer and storm shield with which to engage larger and tougher targets, or simply a bolt pistol and power weapon, which for a fantastic 16 points will give you +1 attack and let you deny armor saves. All of these are perfectly valid options. However, when buying wargear for your Marshal (or any other character, for that matter) remember that every point you spend is one less point that you have. A pair of master-crafted lightning claws costs 29 points more than a bolt pistol and power weapon, which is nearly enough for two Initiates. Depending on the size of the game, this may or may not be a big difference. Generally, you'll want to equip a character less in a smaller game.

High Marshals:

are another option, with an extra Wound and point of Leadership. However, I suggest that you do not use them (at least not often) in games of less than 1500 points - after all, they are Chapter Masters! There is no distinct advantage gained by doing this, but to me at least, it "feels" right. Having your Chapter's highest-ranking leader in every battle you fight seems a little strange.

The Chaplain:

is similar to the Marshal. He trades flexibility for efficiency. Since he already has a power weapon, that means you can only give him one other weapon - ruling out a number of combinations, such as pairs of lightning claws, or thunder hammer/pistol. In almost all circumstances, the best option for your Chaplain's other hand is a pistol - a measly 1 point gives him a BS 5 shot, and an extra power weapon attack. Plasma pistols have their merits as well. Another good configuration is equipping him with a power fist (or a thunder hammer). This allows him to use his Crozius Arcanum against most enemies, but should he run into something bigger and scarier than he could normally handle, he can opt to use S 8 power fist attacks instead.

Another important merit of the Chaplain is his Rosarius. This is an especially important benefit to a Black Templar player, because since the Emperor's Champion uses the army's Iron Halo, a Marshal cannot be given an Invulnerable save except via Terminator armor. As such, the Chaplain allows you a power-armored leader with a good Invulnerable save.


The Emperor's Champion:

Whether you like him or not, the Emperor's Champion will always be there. In small games, he can be a hindrance - having to take a 105 point model plus your mandatory HQ choice can get to be a pain. This is one reason why you should try to keep your characters economical - if you have at least two characters, both of them upwards of 100 points, you won't have a very big army

However, in games of about 1000 points or more, the Emperor's Champion really starts to become a useful tool. He acts as a cross between HQ choice and veteran sergeant - two wounds, 2+ save, 4+ Inv, and frostblade/power fist, but on the other hand, only two attacks. He lacks the terrifying killing power of a Chaplain or Marshal, but makes it up in his specialized areas. The Emperor's Champion excels at defeating squad leaders. Since most squad leaders have only one wound and no invulnerable save, his S 5 power weapon will cut them down with ease. In addition, his I 5 means that he strikes before them (except the Eldar ones), so he usually won't even suffer retaliation. On top of all this, he'll make sure that you win the combat, regardless of how badly things are going for the rest of the squad.

Be careful, though - The Emperor's Champion has a difficult time against most true HQ characters. Their usual 5-6 power weapon attacks will do him in with terrifying rapidity. However, should the character lack an Invulnerable save - a Chaos Lord, for instance - then it might be worth the risk of a round against him, in exchange for the chance of knocking him out with a two-handed attack.

The Marshal nodded. "I have been a Sword Brother for one hundred and sixty-two years, and an Initiate for seventy-three years before that. I know the leaders of this Crusade, they are my friends and brethren. What else?"

The tactician smiled, shaking his head. "You will be amazed at what you think you know, that you have yet to learn. Do not worry - I do not mean to speak down to you. However, it has been my entire life's study to examine tactics, and it is my duty to pass them on to you. Some of them, doubtlessly, you will know already - if you did not, you would not have been chosen as the new Marshal. But there will be other lessons that will teach you new things. This seminar is over. Tomorrow, we will discuss the merits and uses of the veterans of your Crusade - your bravest men, closest brethren, and most pious examples of devotion."

The Marshal stood to leave, but the Tactician stopped him. "And do not be late," he added with a smile.

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